Solidarity

Being seen as a human being

I was just a year or two out of college and I was not getting anywhere in finding relief for Ulcerative Colitis. The GI doctor I had been going to just gave me the same story every time, I never felt like I was being heard. He was not even open to trying different or newly approved treatments. I ended up switching to our local teaching hospital when I was running out of mental and physical energy to keep fighting. They were able to get me into a last minute appointment. During that appointment, we went through my disease and medication history and all of the normal things, and then the doctor looked at me and told me "You deserve to live your life." and I cried. I had never heard anyone, let alone a physician, recognize that. I had been so wrapped up in the daily task of managing symptoms and trying to manage life, that I had barely recognized it myself. It was the first time that a doctor had ever recognized that I was a whole person, not just a vessel of symptoms.

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Being seen as a human made me feel SO much more validated, and also I was able to trust that I was in much better hands with this team. And it was true, they worked with me to find the treatment that I am on now, and I've been in remission for years. It has made all the difference.

Cared for the whole of me

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In college, I had the university’s PCP take care of all my diabetic needs. She was always encouraging me to take better care of myself and maintain a stable HbA1c. I talked about it but struggled to reach my goals. After two years of trying, I finally hit my goal and she called me after she got my lab results, cheering for me and was super happy about it. I’ve never seen anyone be so enthusiastic about my results and it truly stuck with me. That doctor truly cared over my well being.

The second was during my high risk pregnancy with my daughter. I was referred to a perinatologist to monitor my insulin pump and dosages. He immediately ordered a continuous glucose monitor which truly changed the course of my diabetic management. And despite all the worries and the panic of the occassional high blood sugars during pregnancy, he kept me calm. His guidance and instructions continue to help me maintain my health. I’ve truly learned a lot in the nine months under his care. When baby was born, I was truly sad that I don’t get to work with this doctor anymore.